Brides, we're gonna call it: Having long hair is without a doubt a labor of love. While your everyday maintenance and style routine is something you could do in your sleep, plenty of other factors come into play for a wedding-day hairstyle for long hair.
Of course, we love those hair-in-the-wind moments. But how do you keep tresses from accidentally whipping in front of your face if you go for a hair-down wedding 'do? Even with a half-up, half-down hairstyle, would your lustrous locks inadvertently be covering the pretty details of your gown's neckline and bodice?
Updos resolve all of these questions and offer long-haired brides so many elegant options. Whether a sleek ponytail, a beautifully braided 'do, or a low-maintenance bridal bun, a wedding updo will keep those strands in place and focus everyone's attention precisely where it should be—on your radiant smile, of course.
Keep scrolling for 35 wedding updos that are particularly perfect for long hair.
A Modern Bouffant
We love when brides get creative with the classics—adding small details or playing with the tried-and-true to make the look all their own. Sleek doesn't always have to mean minimalist, and this bride definitely proved that. The retro bouffant gets a significant refresh thanks to loads of smooth volume and the balance of a large low bun.
A Relaxed Curly Updo With Flower Crown
There's no rule that says an updo has to have every strand secured in place. In fact, it's one of the reasons we love this bride's unfussy coif, which is finished with a few face-framing waves and topped with a flower crown. Easy, breezy, and positively beaming—wouldn't you agree?
A Goddess Braid High Bun
The great thing about long lengths is that they can achieve all kinds of height on a bridal 'do. Whether sweeping your down-to-there braids into an intricate topknot or polishing off a larger-than-life ballerina bun, the high placements always clear the way for some memorable jewelry.
A Low Ponytail
For an updo that spotlights gorgeous long locks but still keeps hair pulled back and secured, you can't go wrong with a ponytail. Soft waves infuse this polished pony with an added dose of romance, which feels so right with the decadent pearl choker.
A Side-Swept Knot Bun With Floral Hairpin
So timeless and chic! We love the look of a side-swept bun, which works beautifully for all kinds of hair textures and all sorts of bridal styles, too. Case in point: This lovely bride kept hers polished (and pretty much perfect) for a stunning destination wedding in Tuscany.
If your hair has some natural texture, ask your stylist to keep the 'do a bit more wavy and slightly undone for a more bohemian, romantic vibe.
Relaxed Wraparound Milkmaid Braids
Boho brides will swoon over this milkmaid braided updo, which is such a delightful choice for outdoor ceremonies of all types—from rustic retreats to desert-chic weddings to barefoot on the beach. The softness in this coif is key, keeping the look relaxed and free-spirited rather than too rigid and refined. Add a bit of charm to the style with a small bloom and whimsical earrings.
An Asymmetric Woven Chignon
This California winter wedding was a stunning mix of romantic, rocker-chic, and traditional elements—and the bride's glamorous, side-swept updo was no exception. Her dimensional, gathered strands are accented with an eye-catching sparkly creation for the Western-style ceremony. The 'do also spilled out beautifully from the customary Vietnamese áo dài that she changed into after.
A Woven Chignon With Fresh Floral Accent
Talk about a stunning floral display. Draped over this bride's updo of woven plaits and pinned-up curls, the floral posy couldn't be more poetic. We love how the delicate blooms and greenery are so beautifully composed yet wildly romantic.
A Timeless French Twist
For a chateau wedding in the South of France, what could be more authentic than a classic French twist? The volume of this updo will depend on the length, thickness, and texture of your hair, but it's always a showstopper. Not to mention, a stunning base for a cascading veil.
A Curly Loose Bun
When you have long tresses with a ton of natural volume, by all means, work that to your advantage. This traditional, swept-back bun is fully amplified and takes on a more carefree aesthetic. We love the subtle volume at the crown to balance out the visual weight of the updo.
A Dreadlock Bun
This Chicago bride wouldn't think of giving up her signature dreadlocks on her wedding day—nor should she have to. The high elegant bun sweeps the lengths into picture-perfect refinement that doesn't sacrifice personal authenticity. We adore how the dimensional highlights and intricate beads add drama to the otherwise simple updo.
A Relaxed Low Bun With Pearl Details
Be still our beating hearts! This relaxed low bun is all things sophisticated and cool all at once. We love the textured finish of the strands adding that coveted, slightly mussed vibe while the glued-in pearls are positively on-point for the retro-themed wedding.
A Floral-Embellished Braid
Whether you opt for fresh florals, sprigs of greenery, or delicate hairpins, there are so many ways to dress up a loose braided 'do. We're obsessed with this bride's cultural infusion of flowers and jewelry into her plaits, leaning on customs and traditions throughout her special day. It's safe to say this four-strand plait was full of sentiment.
A Dutch Braided Low Bun
This bride went all in with a wholly braided updo for her chic restaurant wedding in Los Angeles. Unlike more relaxed milkmaid braids that err on the bohemian, this tighter composition is much more sleek and elegant. Plus, being so intricately braided, this 'do is sure to last all night on the dance floor.
A Loose Bun With Vintage Hairpiece
Hair accessories and updos are a match made in bridal heaven. This bride's vintage-inspired hairpiece exquisitely molds to the style—and is an eye-catching statement, too. Not to mention, it was modeled after her grandmother's brooch for the ultimate something old and something new.
The Voluminous Ponytail
For a pony'd-up 'do with a bit of glam factor, go for big volume up top and finish with long, loose curls. Really, how fitting is this updo, paired with this bride's incredible gown and jewelry? The profile is nothing short of epic.
A Rolled Updo With Floral Headpiece and Veil
Wondering how to pull off a flower crown and a veil? It absolutely can be done, and a rolled updo is just the right base for such an utterly romantic look. The key here is to ensure your floral headpiece connects with the veil for a cohesive look. When choosing botanicals, go for smaller, more delicate options that won't overshadow the rest.
The Textured Curly Ponytail
Completely unadorned, this bride's ponytail is understated but still so chic. This just goes to show, less can be more—especially if you're bringing tons of luscious curls and natural texture of your own. We also love that this showstopper is secured at the center of the crown rather than at the nape of the neck like the usual bridal ponytail.
You need not show off a hair tie if it isn't part of your bridal look. After setting the ponytail, take a piece of hair from the bottom and work it around the tie, securing the last bit of remaining hair with a pin underneath the elastic.
A French Braided Knot
While french braids typically lean on the sporty side of the updo spectrum, this style is all kinds of elegant. The full braid tactfully secures all of the bride's hair back before dropping into a pretty knot at the base of the neck. The style works wonderfully for all hair types and textures and can be especially handy for battling environmental elements like a desert wedding in Zion.
Voluminous Low Bun With Crystal Halo
Pardon us while we drool over this bride's wedding updo all wrapped in sparkle. The voluminous low bun could easily shine all on its own but the leafy halo gives it a little something extra. Choosing an elegant accessory to frame a bridal hairstyle—not just accent it—can give your 'do that much more of a wow factor.
A Braided Topknot
Serve some significant height with a braided topknot like this bride's elopement hairstyle. Not only does it look oh so cool, but also balances out a higher neckline by drawing the eye upwards. While ultra-long goddess braids provide the structure needed to keep this updo sky-high, adding some grit from a texturizing paste or spray can also help.
A Minimalist Low Knot
If minimalism and understated elegance are what you're looking for, then look no further. This chic chignon utilizes that extra length to smoothly create a polished knot that works the securement strategy into the design itself. That means no visible ties or pins in sight.
A Spiraled Side Bun With Floral Hairpin
If you're planning on having tons of profile portraits taken, might we suggest a side bun? This will fully optimize your long-hair wedding updo for that preferred angle. This bride opted for a romantic spiraled bun with relaxed tendrils falling about for her Malibu wedding. The sweet hairpin only emphasizes the side-swept look.
A Relaxed Bun With Side Braids
Lengthy tresses are a stylist's playground, especially when it comes to designing a one-of-a-kind wedding updo. So have some fun and concoct your dream variation of an updo that's all your own. This intentionally undone bun features twists, curls, braids, fresh flowers, and tons of playful, rogue tendrils for a fairytale-worthy updo.
A Braided Low Bun
This sleek updo offers the best of both worlds: A silky smooth crown with lots of intricate volume in the back. A single braid is spiraled around itself to achieve the woven bun, set at the nape of the neck. The juxtaposition is absolutely gorgeous with the ethereal bridal cape for the timeless New Orleans nuptials.
A Slick Ultra-Long Braid
But wait, there's more: The same glossy updo above is actually a bridal updo twofer. The spiraling braided bun disassembles into a super long rope braid of legendary proportions. If your lengthy tresses can't contend, hair extensions can help fill in those last few inches.
A Twisting Chignon
This masterful coif is positively seamless. The voluptuous chignon is amplified with stunning volume and two twisted strands that wrap around the base. The creation is absolute perfection for the romantic Aspen wedding.
Sleek Low Knotted Bun With Tiara
The mesmerizing design of a knotted bun always puts us under its spell. In fact, this low voluminous masterpiece is so smooth and glossy there must be magic involved. We adore the addition of the pearl tiara for the regal California wedding.
Romantic Knotted Bun With Veil
For a more relaxed take on the knotted bun, we suggest a slightly looser hold that won't compromise the smoothness of the style. Then, free some romantic wispy tendrils for a vibe that feels more storybook heroine than queen of the realm. We're picking up all the spring bridal feels from the veiled look at this colorful spring wedding in Cincinnati,
A Basket Weave French Twist
This basket-woven french twist certainly ups the level of bridal updo complexity. While it may not be the most DIY-friendly hairstyle, it definitely makes up for the professional price tag with its stand-out design. This particular iteration looks oh-so sumptuous with a center part and luxurious traditional hairpiece.
Sweet Layered Braids
Love the look of milkmaid braids but aren't completely convinced? We understand. While wraparound braids may be a bit harder to wear, these lovely layered braids encapsulate all the youthful charm without being so full-frontal. The plaits are only exposed from the back while the front is kept just as soft as if it were a sweeping chignon.
A Loose Curly Chignon
Hey, curly brides! We love to see your ringlets honored in a bridal updo. This loose chignon is practically bursting with all the heavenly volume of those gilded spirals. The relaxed style gives off all the old-world allure of the intimate nuptials in Southern Italy.
A Sleek Curly Chignon
Don't worry if your waves prefer a bit of structure. The curly chignon at these rustic Las Vegas nuptials is just as dreamy with its smooth, glossy spirals. We love how this particular style seems to cascade and flow naturally with no defined separation between the bun and the crown.
The Bouncy High Ponytail
Low ponytails may be sophisticated and glam, but a bouncy high ponytail will forever have our hearts. “I wanted to look and feel like myself,” shares this bride of her elevated Lake Tahoe nuptials. “I essentially had my hair and makeup artist do everything I would normally do myself, but she of course did it much better.”
A Braided Ballerina Bun
Ballerina buns always appear so artful and coiffed. We love how this particular beauty was composed of a braid for added depth and dimension for the New York wedding with traditional Korean touches. The height emphasized the gorgeous high neckline of the dress without sacrificing any softness around the face to slick rigidity.
Should I hire a professional stylist for a long-hair wedding updo?
This depends on the complexity of the updo and your comfort level with doing your own hair. If you decide to go the DIY route, reach out to a hairstylist for tips and tricks or, better yet, book a wedding hair trial a month or two ahead of the wedding to see how it's done.
How do you prepare long hair for a wedding updo?
Again, be sure to consult your hairstylist for advice regarding what products to use and even when to wash your hair. Depending on the type of hair, you may consider getting a blowout the day before your nuptials to give it maximum volume and texture.